From roots in punk rock to Classical and Jazz training on piano and percussion, to expeditions into the vast universe of the Hindustani and Carnatic musical traditions of India, Adams is always finding ways to expand his musical horizon.
Adams began playing music at an early age. His first instrument was the cello and he briefly took piano lessons. In high school he picked up the guitar and began playing with other musicians and joined his first band, Mediokra. During this time he played on his drummer's set and consequently discovered his love for drums. He traded his guitar amp for his first set of drums and then, along with guitarist Kelly Massey, formed the group Victim From Birth. They went on to play several underground performances with enthusiastic reception in Amarillo.
In 1997 Adams began studying music formally at Amarillo College where he took lessons in piano, drum set, and marimba. In addition to the traditional music theory and ear training he was taught in his classes he immersed himself in the study of the jazz idiom with the guidance of Amarillo College professor and jazz saxophonist Dr. Jim Laughlin. Adams got his first gig playing drum set professionally with veteran West Coast jazz guitarist Jimmy James and pianist E.P. Simmons. Adams was taken under the wings of numerous jazz musicians in Amarillo including: Hugo Loewenstern, Jimmy James, Jim Laughlin, Jim Griffin, Donovan Stokes, and others. Over the course of the next three years he played in various groups with many local jazz alumni.
Cabinet Crisis, a punk band Adams played in with vocalist Chris Oles had gained a reputation in Amarillo and was the headlining local act at the 2000 Brian Deneke Unity Through Diversity Music Festival where they opened for Mike Watt with renowned bassist and composer Donovan Stokes joining the linup for this special event.
Adams earned his Associate Degree in Music from Amarillo College in 2000, and in 2001 he moved to Denton, TX to attend the University of North Texas (UNT) where he was accepted as a piano major.
In 2001 Adams studied tabla with Neel Bhaat, a top-notch musician who learned tabla from an early age in his home state of Gujarat, India. Adams continued to study with Bhaat for the next couple of years. He also make Sunday trips across Dallas for about a year to to accompany Nilendu Jani's weekly bansuri class and made his tabla performance debut with the same group in 2002 at the Asian Festival in Dallas. Tabla is a set of two drums used in the Hindustani Classical Music of North India. In 2002 Adams started performing on tabla with sitarist Tom Griffin. They held a weekly residency at Pasand Indian restaurant in Irving, TX from 2003-2004 and appeared weekly at Cosmic Cup (Dallas, TX) and Clay Pit (Addison, TX) from 2004-2005 as well as performing at several Indian weddings and other functions.
While at UNT Adams was fortunate to have the opportunity to study Carnatic (South Indian) musical theory and solkattu (the rhythmic language of South India) with master South Indian mridangamist and composer Poovalur Srinivasan. Adams studied mridangam, which is a South Indian double-sided drum, with Srinivasan for the next year. Adams had been attending a multitude of Indian music concerts The Indian Classical Music Circle of Dallas/Ft. Worth.
From 2003-2004 Adams played drum set with the Garland, TX based post-hardcore band Lady of the Lake and played many shows around Dallas, went on a short tour, and recorded several songs in the studio.
In 2003 Adams joined Harry Has a Head Like a Ping Pong Ball with bassist Nathan Fenoglio, and guitarist Travis Laminack. The trio was a musical experiment in eccentricity with "stop-of-a-dime" stylistic, tempo, rhythmic, and time signature changes. No musical territory was off-limits to Harry Has a Head as they incorporated punk, bluegrass, funk, jazz, metal, progressive rock, as well as other styles. The 4 song CD entitled Post-Apocalyptic Time Travel Core was recorded in 2005 at Foundation Sound.
Adams left Denton and spent the last half of 2005 in Los Angeles, CA and returned to Amarillo in 2006 where he stayed busy performing with The Jim Laughlin Quartet, Patrick Swindell and Pizzazz, Jazz Alley (from Lubbock, TX), The Fakebooks, as well as variety of local and visiting national artists including: Jim Griffin, Donovan Stokes, Jason Berg, Noah Baerman, Mike Vax, Carlos Casso, West Texas State University Music Faculty, Fred Hamilton, Woody Witt, and others.
In 2009 Adams collaborated with drummer Perry Justus and bassist Steven Ronk to form The Fakebooks. They performed as a jazz/funk/punk trio at many events and venues kicking off the June Jazz summer jazz concert series at Amarillo College in 2010, playing often at The 806 coffee shop, regular appearances at Fireslice Pizza, D'Vine Wine, a variety of other venues, as well as playing the Annual Polk St. Block Party in downtown Amarillo.
Notable performances from 2006-2011 in Amarillo include the 2007 Brian Deneke Memorial Festival with bassist/composer Donovan Stokes and drummer Perry Justus, playing OrchXtra for the Amarillo Little Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol” and playing the trumpet score on a Yamaha DX7 for ALT’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman", a jazz quartet gig at The West Texas State University President’s House with WTAMU music faculty, countless gigs at The Amarillo Club, and many others.
Adams has maintained a private teaching studio since 2006 and has taught a variety of music lessons to beginners and professionals of all ages.
After successfully relocating to Denver, CO in 2011 to expand his music performance and educational opportunities, in the first year Adams played over 50 shows with Denver Jazz band Minor Note Orchestra, accompanied Professor Sarah Morelli’s North Indian Music Ensemble at Lamont School of Music/University of Denver on tabla for three semesters, performed on a sold out performance at Swallow Hill Music School on tabla with guitarist/sitarist Chris “Citrus” Sauthoff (Parliament Funkadelic) as well as a well attended Indian Classical music recital with saxophonist Aakash Mittal.
Current projects include Sybil Vane and The Fakebooks with vocalist Molly Zackary, bassist Chris Norton, and drummer Nathan Byrne.
Venues in Denver and the greater Colorado area where Adams has performed include: Lamont School of Music (University of Denver), El Chapultapec, D-Note (Arvada), Swallow Hill Music Association, Greeley Jazz Festival (2012), 3 Kings Tavern, Goorin Bros. Hat Company, El Charrito, El Chapultapec Too, Blast-O-Mat, Tennyson's Tap, Denver Art Society, Vita, Pueblo Union Depot, Irish Rover, Herman's Hideaway, Mercury Cafe, R&R Bar, India's Pearl Martini Bar, Dixon's Downtown Grill, Dicken's Store (Flatirons Crossing Mall), Zink Hotel Lounge, Denver Public Library, Smokey Hill Library, Yellow Feather Coffee, Arada Ethiopian Restaurant, Mile High Station, BarBar, Avanti Music Academy, and more.